Staring At The Sun

Staring At The Sun Charts the life of Jean Serjeant from her beginnings as a naive carefree country girl before the war through to her wry and trenchant old age in the year This novel enables readers to follow he

  • Title: Staring At The Sun
  • Author: Julian Barnes
  • ISBN: 9780330299305
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Paperback
  • Charts the life of Jean Serjeant, from her beginnings as a naive, carefree country girl before the war through to her wry and trenchant old age in the year 2020 This novel enables readers to follow her experience in marriage, her questioning of male truths, her adventures in motherhood and in China.

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      Published :2019-08-10T14:39:58+00:00

    About “Julian Barnes

    • Julian Barnes

      Julian Patrick Barnes is a contemporary English writer of postmodernism in literature He has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize Flaubert s Parrot 1984 , England, England 1998 , and Arthur George 2005 , and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending 2011 He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.Following an education at the City of London School and Merton College, Oxford, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary Subsequently, he worked as a literary editor and film critic He now writes full time His brother, Jonathan Barnes, is a philosopher specialized in Ancient Philosophy.He lived in London with his wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, until her death on 20 October 2008.

    450 thoughts on “Staring At The Sun

    • A very confusing book. Barely readable. It has its mesmerising points but nothing brighter or engaging. The question that kept plaguing me, was: the protagonist, what, had some congnitive abnormalities or something? Or was it just the convoluted style that made me feel like that?A DNF at that.

    • The really important questions do not have answers: and the really important answers do not need questions. Life is itself, not comparable to anything. And all the great miracles are present in the here and the now, if only we can see them like staring at the sun through the gap between your fingers.Some of the things which I took away from this magical, unreviewable book.Read it.

    • Julian Barnes has certainly improved a bit in the last 25 years. I recently read his wonderful latest book, The Sense of an Ending (review here: /review/show/), and for my second Barnes, turned to this, one of his earliest, from 1986. Both books document a long life, but the style is very different. There is a promising novel struggling to reveal itself here, but this isn't it.It is the story of Jean, told in three parts: as a late teen on the cusp of marriage at the end of WW2, in middle age, a [...]

    • THE IMPOSSIBLE ALWAYS TAKES A LITTLE LONGER This is a very tough book to review, but a magical one to experience. The prose is close enough to a warm bed on a winter morning with a steaming cup of coffee in your hand and your favourite song playing in the background. It is a book of questions and answers of life (not corresponding to each other) - right from the curiosity of a child to the exploration of sex and marriage to wondering if there is a life after death. It is also a book of brilliant [...]

    • This is an early Barnes book (1986) which recalled Metroland (1980), one of his first books that got me hooked on Barnes. After reading most of his last books this was both a blast in the past as well as making me realize that some of his subjects such as love, death and existence has never left him and hence, reinforces why I love his books.This is the story of a very plain woman, Jean Sergeant who, after living through World War II meets a pilot who boasts he can stare at the sun. Intrigued by [...]

    • I'd like to think I'd have been brave enough to be a woman, but somehow I doubt it. It remains to be seen how I'll cope with the tedious matter of death but I'm no rush to sit that test.Dazzlingly thought provoking, brilliantly written (as always) and with a charming foretelling of our world of Google, and Siri - imagination, pathos and a morbid honesty.I will read everything Julian Barnes has written because failing to do so would be unforgiveable.

    • In his recent Booker Prizewinning The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes' middle-aged character tries to make sense of a pivotal event in his life many years ago. Barnes had written about an elderly character looking back on a life once before in Staring at the Sun, one of his earlier works written in 1985, and the difference between the two books is instructive. Both are massively ambitious. Whereas The Sense of an Ending explores the nature of history, Staring at the Sun tries to tell whether y [...]

    • 2.5 starsEither I'm not smart enough for this book or it's not as good as I hoped it would be. Or both. The good:1. I love Jean. She's curious but naive and no one will tell her anything about anything. It's no wonder she agrees that she must be stupid when really she's anything but. 2. Other characters are inconsistently developed, but filtered through Jean and their interactions with Jean, they are interesting, especially Tommy Prosser, Uncle Leslie, and Rachel. 3. There aren't a lot of writer [...]

    • Ho trovato interessante il progetto di base di questo romanzo, ma il modo in cui lo scrittore ha scelto di svilupparlo mi è sembrato fiacco e disorganico. L'ho letto sulla scia del bellissimo "Il senso di una fine", sperando di trovarvi la stessa densità di contenuti, ma le mie aspettative sono risultate in gran parte deluse.Le pagine più originali e suggestive sono quelle relative alla vicenda della protagonista, Jean, che, ormai quasi centenaria, ripercorre gli episodi salienti della propri [...]

    • One of the most remarkable books I ever read. I'm generally stuck in either whodunit or historical ruts, and it has to be said I'm happy there.But this is one of the few exceptions that has, as we stuck in the '60s insist on saying, 'blown my mind'. It is such a mixture of tragedy, comedy, trivia and deep philosophy as to keep the reader on his toes throughout. And it's not a page-turner; every so often, you just have to slip in a bookmark and think. Then re-read the chapter that MADE you think. [...]

    • Předem si tedy nemyslím, že je dobré zvolit si za hlavní postavu nudnou anglickou frigidku, jejíž největší životní dobrodružství bylo to, že přemýšlela nad sendvičem. Po vcelku nudném dětství, které Barnes natáhne na celou třetinu, během které se nestane nic, i když to chvilkama vypadá, že ji vohne pilot internovaný v jejich domě, tak konečně nastupuje druhá třetina, kdy se frigidka nechá ukecat do manželství, jen proto aby zjistila, že je vážně studen [...]

    • A Julian Barnes story is never much about taking a journey through different places or different ages. Don’t get me wrong, those aspects are part of his stories as is the case with Staring at the Sun. But the protagonist and his or her journey is of lesser importance as Barnes seeks to strike a deeper chord with us through his ideas, ideologies, his convictions, his doubts on a whole range of topics, be it the existence of God (which you will read even in his other book Nothing to be Frightene [...]

    • Ďalšia kniha od Juliana Barnesa, v ktorej nechýbajú úvahy o smrti, samovražde, posmrtnom živote a existencii boha. Len si nie som istá, či si autor konkrétne v tomto prípade zvolil najšťastnejšie. K prvým dvom častiam knihy, ktoré sú venované jednoduchému životu prostej Jean Serjeantovej od detstva po začiatok staroby a nevynikajúcej takmer v ničom, je pripojená časť tretia, kde sa jej syn zamýšľa nad ukončením svojho života a kde vedie rozhovory s akýmsi futuri [...]

    • We could never be married, me and Julian Barnes. His point of view is too foreign to me, we would be discussing the same thing and scarcely able to understand each other. Separated by a common language, as it were. It's not to say that I didn't like, or find sympathy with, or relate to this book, or any of his books, for that matter; I'm just not sure I understand where he's coming from, or where he's going. At the end, what I feel most of is perplexity.

    • A NY Times Best Book of 1987. The novel charts the life of Jean Serjeant, a lower middle-class English woman, from girlhood through WW II, marriage, separation, motherhood and travel to the age of 99 in the 21st century. The underlying question is whether ordinary people must lead ordinary lives or if magic is possible. Jean leads an everyday life with glimpses of enchantment and therein lies the beauty of the novel.

    • Another brilliant book by Julian Barnes. With "Flaubert's Parrot" and "The Story of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters" they are my three favorite books by Julian Barnes and all of them make it in my top 10 books of all times.This book is hugely surprising. I find it hard to say more without giving away the plot. Let's say that it asks Very Important question in a very original way.

    • A book in three parts. The first two parts develop interesting characters and ideas. Part 3 goes into an imaginary future with some sort of state controlled wgich is out of keeping with the first two parts of the novel. All a bit disjointed and unsatisfactory.

    • O poveste nu întru totul închegată, cu un personaj feminin a cărei trăsătură distinctă la începutul cărţii este naivitatea, fără ca acest lucru să genereze cititorului o empatie deosebită, pentru ca spre final acesta să devină preponderent reflexiv şi cu o oarece aură de înţelepciune. Povestea nu abundă în evenimente şi răsuciri de situaţie, ritmul se desfăşoară lent şi nu oferă surprize. Uneori nu oferă nici prea multe motive să continui lectura, să o duci pân [...]

    • Not so much the seven ages of Man as the three ages of Woman. This is a relatively early novel (written in the mid 80s) but the themes that occur often in his work (well the ones I've read so far) are all present & correct. The novel is in 3 parts broadly covering a woman's youth, middle age & old age. The first part is relatively slight (although with a funny ending), the second part is the most enjoyable whilst the third part explores death & the afterlife (arguably sketching out s [...]

    • 3.80Just like many of Barnes' books, this one is divided into three chapters which tell a story of a woman named Jean and her life from the 1920s to the year of 2020.To be honest, I didn't like the start nor the first third of the book. So I was really bored and contemplated giving up several times. But then came the second third which was really interesting.The third chapter is set in the future. Certainly, the year of 2020 was a distant future when this was written back in 1986, but it's prett [...]

    • An extraordinary book about an ordinary life. Barnes woos the reader with prose that sings and characters who dance off the pages. In its brief span, Staring at the Sun manages to encapsulate the entire human experience, in all of its banality and aberrancy. The life experiences of the centenarian main character somehow manage to be as relatable as they are rarefied, like a plane ride into a twice-setting sun. A humble and gratifying literary journey.

    • Барнс стоит на трёх китах: память, девственность, смерть. Иногда к ним добавляются главные герои, которым эти киты близки, и у них хватает способностей о них рассуждать. А когда не хватает, в кресло напротив нас садится Барнс и с висящем на большом палеце ноги тапке (его цитат [...]

    • Absolutely superb. I have thoroughly enjoyed books by William Boyd, Kate Atkinson & Loius de Berniere which have covered a life but they have been overly long books. Whether this book was the forerunner of such books I don't know but Barnes seems able to cover the same length of time but manages to write so more succinctly (less than 200 pages). Barnes has a wry sense of humour. At times one appears to be reading a philosophy book with such sharp observations. There is always a slight proble [...]

    • Hmmmmm. I really enjoyed the first third. Worked my way through the second third. I forced myself to finish the third third.This probably tells you something about how I found this book.

    • I'm afraid I gave up on this about 30 pages from the end, although I had been engrossed earlier it just became clear that there are many better books to read.

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